Agenda and minutes

Committee Model Working Group - Friday, 28th April, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: The Bordeaux Room, 1st Floor, City Hall, BS1 5TR

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions, and Safety Information


The Chair welcomed those present and introductions were made.



Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Makawi who was substituted by Councillor Mack.



Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes from the previous meeting and decisions log pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting on 31st March 2023 were approved subject to:

·       The inclusion of Councillor Gary Hopkins in the list of attendees

·       It was agreed that the discussion around the need to ensure all Cabinet Member portfolios were incorporated into the Policy Committees, particularly in relation to cross cutting areas had not been adequately captured.

Members noted the decision log.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes from the previous meeting be approved, subject to the amendments above.



Public Forum pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.


Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum. The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda. Public Forum items should be emailed to and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-


Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting. For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5pm on Monday 24th April 2023.


Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting. For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12 Noon on Thursday 27th April 2023.


Please note, your time allocated to speak may have to be strictly limited if there are a lot of submissions. This may be as short as one minute

Additional documents:


The following public forum questions and statements were received for the meeting.


Questions (and answers)





PQ 01

Dan Ackroyd

Q1. Meetings in Bristol City Council have a recurring problem with senior council members talking out of turn, to talk over other people, and currently the people chairing meetings seem to take no action against this disruption. What changes are going to be made to how meetings are run to make this less of an issue under the committee system?

A1. This is a question for the Committee Members to answer.

   PQ 02

Clive Stevens

Q2. Agenda item 4 - decisions log: In the February sessions you decided to constitute an Escalations Panel. This was in response to issues about scrutiny and ensuring decision making is to the best benefit of the public as a whole. I do not see from the Work Programme that you have allocated time for further discussion about this valuable new addition to Bristol City Council’s system of governance. Could you consider including time for further discussion and decisions please to refine the workings of the Escalations Panel? (I would be very happy to furnish some examples of why it is an important addition to the Committee System).

A2. In July 23, the CMWG will be agreeing the remainder of their Work Programme for 23/24. Items will include consideration of any areas, such as the Escalation Panel, where more details may be required before redrafting or preparing the relevant parts of the Constitution can commence.

PQ 03

Clive Stevens


Q3. Agenda item 7 – Roles and Responsibilities of Councillors: There doesn’t appear to be any mention in the current report of councillors’ requirements to scrutinise the information provided to them. Given that you have decided to build scrutiny into the job tasks of each committee, could you consider adding this job to committee members please?

A3. Members of the CMWG are invited to share their views on this suggestion.

PQ 04

Clive Stevens


Q4. Agenda item 7 - Appendix A part 6 - Chair of a Policy Committee – Generic Chairs’

Responsibilities. (Para 2, top of page 8 of 11). This paragraph requires the chair of a policy committee to be impartial. I don’t think this is possible in many cases and could become grounds for challenge. The chair needs to be fair and run a meeting in such a way as to facilitate open discussions etc. Clearly a chair mustn’t be pre-determined but I don’t think they need to pretend to be impartial, being fair is sufficient.  Please consider the use of the word impartial in that specific clause?

A4. The Nolan Principles state that ‘holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.’ Therefore, use of the term impartial is consistent.

PQ 05

Clive Stevens


Q5. Agenda item 7 - Appendix A part 6 - Chair of a Policy Committee – Generic Chairs’

Responsibilities. (Para 2, top  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Policy Committees - Structure and Responsibilities pdf icon PDF 607 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Democratic Engagement provided a brief introduction to the report and reminded the Committee of what was discussed at the previous meeting. The Group went onto consider the report, commenting as follows:


  • The responsibilities of each Policy Committee as set out were broadly acceptable, however, there were concerns about the need to ensure public health was given sufficient prominence.  In view of this, it was agreed that there should be an eighth Policy Committee ‘Public Health and Communities’ and the ‘Homes and Communities’ Policy Committee would be changed to ‘Homes and Housing Delivery.’  It was noted that this would increase the number of seats each Group was required to fill, however, it was also noted that not all Policy Committees would need to meet with the same frequency.
  • The Group heard from a Councillor on the need for the Health and Wellbeing Policy Committee to have a clear focus on Adult Social Care, as this was where the majority of the Council’s budget was utilised. The Group was reminded of the statutory requirement to have a separate Health and Wellbeing Board, made up of Members and external partners.
  • Members discussed the option of establishing any standing Sub-Committees and agreed that from the outset there should be one relating to budget matters, which would report to the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee, with another covering Health, which would report to the Public Health and Communities Policy Committee. Any other Sub-Committees would be agreed in due course. 
  • Consideration was given to local decision making with differing views about if and when the current arrangements should be reviewed and potentially expanded.  Members noted that this would be subject to in-depth discussion at their meeting on 26th May 23.
  • It should be noted that the Local Plan Working Group would be retained in the new model.
  • The Group agreed that a forum should exist for all Policy Committee Chairs and senior officers to meet regularly to discuss key strategic matters. These would not be formal, decision-making meetings but would enable a cohesive approach.
  • Members went on to consider the arrangements for review of the Council’s monitoring of risk, performance and budgets and agreed that each Policy Committee should receive reports in these areas, with oversight being the responsibility of the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee. 
  • It was noted that the Policy Committees would need to be politically proportionate, and Members agreed that the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of all Committees (including the regulatory ones) would be appointed at Full Council.
  • The group agreed that the Strategy and Resources Committee does not have to exclusively be made up of Policy Committee Chairs, with appointments to be made by the Whips in due course.


RESOLVED: That the following recommendations be made to Full Council:


  • That there would be standing Sub-Committees relating to Health and Budgets, reporting to the Communities and Public Health and Strategy and Resources Committee respectively.
  • That there be 8 Policy Committees as follows:

-      Adult Social Care

-      Children and Young  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Roles and Responsibilities of Councillors under the Committee Model of Governance pdf icon PDF 212 KB


The Director of Legal and Democratic Services provided a brief introduction to the report.


It was noted that consideration was needed for who would agree decisions in the period between the Mayor stepping down and the Council Leader being elected.

Members suggested the following amendments be made to the report:


Roles and Functions of All Councillors

  • Item 4: Addition of ‘act as community champion and encourage community cohesion’ and change to ‘all Councillors must advise local individuals and interest groups in their dealings with the Council where appropriate’
  • Item 7: Inclusion of a line to reflect the requirement for all Councillors to examine and challenge issues.
  • Item 8: Include reference to the Member Code of Conduct.
  • Item 9:  Add the requirement to uphold the Public Sector Equalities duties.


Leader of the Council

  • Include the role of Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee.


Chairs and Vice Chairs

  •  All Chairs and Vice-Chairs will be appointed by Full Council.


RESOLVED: That the following recommendations be made to Full Council:

  • That the Chairs and Vice Chairs of all Committees in the Committee system would be appointed by Full Council.
  • The Strategy and Resources Committee will have oversight of the Councils Corporate Finances and will be Chaired by the Leader of Council.
  • The Strategy and Resources Committee does not have to exclusively be made up of Policy Committee Chairs, with appointments to be made by the Whips in due course.
  • Risk and performance will be monitored by individual Policy Committees. The Strategy and Resources Committee will monitor corporate risk and performance.



Stakeholder engagement feedback - standing item


No updates were provided.



Work Programme - for noting only pdf icon PDF 61 KB


Members noted the Work Programme.